What is Substance Abuse?

Drug use (whether prescribed or otherwise) can turn into abuse once it disrupts a person’s daily activities or functions and/or interferes with a person’s interaction with society or family and friends. As drug use continues, the body can develop a tolerance to it. Once that happens, the drug’s effect on the body lessens, and the user will have to take more of the drug to get the same effect. With dependence, it can even reach a point where the user only feels normal when they are under the influence and they may experience physical withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not in their bodies.

If you’re worried about your own or a friend or family member’s drug use, I can help with substance abuse treatment. We offer substance abuse treatment to Hunterdon County New Jersey, Clinton New Jersey, and the Flemington New Jersey areas.

Look at the following questions. If you answer “yes” to any of them you may need help.

  • Do you ever use alone?
  • Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?
  • Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed?
  • Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?
  • Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
  • Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead o your financial responsibilities?
  • Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?
  • Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?
  • Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs?
  • Do you ever question your own sanity?
  • Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?
  • Have you ever felt defensive, guilty, or ashamed about your using?
  • Do you think a lot about drugs?
  • Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress?
  • Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?
  • Do you think you might have a drug problem?

You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your drug use.
You’re using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
Your drug use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

Common signs and symptoms of drug addiction:

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance.
  • You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—blackouts, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia—but you use anyway.

Are You an Alcoholic in Need of Help?

Look at some of the following questions. If you answer “Yes” to any of them you may need alcohol treatment.

  • Are you unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink?
  • Do you feel a strong need or compulsion to drink?
  • Have you developed tolerance to alcohol so that you need more to feel its effects?
  • Do you drink alone or hide your drinking?
  • Have you experienced physical withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — when you don’t drink?
  • Do you sometimes not remember conversations or commitments?
  • Do you make a ritual of having drinks at certain times and become annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questioned?
  • Are you irritable when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn’t available?
  • Do you keep alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work or in your car?
  • Do you gulp drinks, order doubles, or become drunk intentionally to feel good, or drink to feel “normal”?
  • Do you have legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances due to drinking?
  • Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you pleasure?

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that can be fatal without alcohol treatment. Alcohol abuse includes the inability to control drinking, continued drinking despite knowing its negative affects, the need for more alcohol because of a growing tolerance of alcohol, and symptoms of withdrawal such as shakiness and cloudy thinking when the alcoholic suddenly stops drinking. The alcoholic has little chance of stopping drinking on their own. That’s where alcohol treatment can help.

Before one becomes dependent on alcohol (and therefore and alcoholic) they may be in a stage of Abuse. At his stage a person still has the ability to stop drinking or to cut down on their alcohol consumption on their own. But guidance from on outside source is most often helpful in preventing the drinker from complete dependence.

Whether you or someone you love are alcohol dependent or alcohol abusing I can help.